The signs of my illness began when I was a teenager. For me, it was difficult because those were years when I wanted to experience highschool and finding more out about myself. The most painful part was losing those years and regressing without my own control until I got on medication.
Imagine being unable to write a clear concise sentence after being an honors student for your whole life. Imagine having paranoia hit you full first, the erratic actions that you can’t control turning you into someone else. It takes inner strength and a sort of manic energy to overcome schizophrenia.
That’s why schizoaffective is in its own category. It’s in HOW you use your energy that makes all the difference!!
It’s hard to put on a brave smile all the time. People don’t really understand and there are a lot of things I don’t even yet understand about myself.
I have schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective is similar to Bipolar with psychotic features, except that it’s not always mood driven. IMO schizoaffective is just as much a spectrum as Bipolar and even less severe but schizoaffective is a thought disorder. It’s a confusing thing.
I think of Bipolar as primarily mood related. Whereas schizoaffective is where you have had briefer episodes of schizophrenia, and it’s not neurodegenerative like Bipolar OR schizoprenia. So essentially, schizoaffective has a better prognosis than either on its own. It’s kind of like the Aspergers of Autism.
These issues and symptoms aren’t always inherent, it takes work to surmount our difficulties. I was first diagnosed at sixteen with a more severe form of schizophrenia. But when an illness has been in remission for so long, it’s the psychiatrist’s job to make sure the label is accurate, and that the illness is in remission. When the illness is in remission, the label and notes should reflect this.
Our disorders aren’t life sentences. Our choices and actions are.
I chose to try my hardest to succeed, and I have reaped many benefits even after the darkest storms where I lost all clarity and thought it was never coming back, eventually I found the inner wisdom to never surrender.
And even if the world is more complex than anyone can grasp, it’s better not to be trapped in a belief. That has always helped me. I don’t carry the burden of proof because my eyes are wide open to every possibility. And if I am wrong, I make changes.